Saronic Gulf Islands

The Saronic Gulf Islands, also called the Argo-Saronic Islands, are an easy day trip from Athens, although any one of them would be worth a longer vacation too. There are four main islands, plus Salamina, the island closest to Athens and almost a suburb. It's not one that many visitors choose to visit for a holiday.

Aegina TownAegina Town in the Saronic Gulf Islands

The four main islands, starting closest to Athens, are Aegina (or Egina), Poros, Hydra (or Idra or Ydhra) and finally Spetses, sometimes also called Spetsai. They're all rather different in style, with Aegina having the spectacular Temple of Aphaea, Hydra being tiny and traffic-free, Poros green and very close to the Peloponnese mainland, and Spetses being rather stylish and with Spetses Town being the biggest town in this Saronic group.

Man Selling Octopus on PorosSelling Octopus on Poros

Aegina is very popular with Athenians wanting to get away for the weekend, so if you can avoid the weekend there are usually plenty of hotels to choose from, and some good restaurants to dine at.

Poros attracts European holidaymakers as well as Athenian day-trippers, while Hydra has always had more of a Bohemian feel and attracted musicians and artists like Leonard Cohen, various Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. It's still a laid-back place with some stylish hotels and fine dining restaurants.

Spetses has a few good beaches but they're harder to get to and so it has never really developed as a big holiday hotspot: a good choice, then, if you don't like holiday hotspots!

Any of the islands is a good choice, though, and if you are planning to visit on a day-trip from Athens, there are fast ferries from Piraeus. The furthest island, Spetses, takes about 2 hrs 30 mins on a hydrofoil, while Aegina is less than an hour away.

Click on the photos or names below to take you straight to the relevant page for each of the Saronic Gulf Islands.

Salamina
Salamina is just a few minutes by ferry from Piraeus, but few overseas visitors bother to go there. It is a popular commuting island for working Athenians, with Salamina Town almost being an island suburb of Athens. It is not the prettiest of islands, but the fact that it is almost completely bypassed by visitors makes it worth seeing. There are a few small villages dotted around the coast, with the main resort being Selinia. 

Latest Posts

  1. New Stations for Athens Metro Line 3 Ready by Summer 2022

    Once completed, the three new stations – Maniatika, Piraeus and Municipal Theater – will connect Piraeus with Athens’ center and the Athens International Airport.

    Read More

  2. Mitsotakis Calls for UK to Revise Greece Travel Restrictions

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday urged his British counterpart to revise the UK’s travel restrictions for Greece. The Greek PM met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson while attendin…

    Read More

  3. Greece Extends Covid-19 Rules for International and Domestic Travelers

    The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) has updated its Covid-19 aviation directives (NOTAMS) and extended travel rules for passengers of international and domestic flights in Greece.

    Read More

  4. EU Digital COVID Certificate for Travel is Now Official

    The EU Digital COVID Certificate, a European Union-wide initiative to facilitate travel in Covid-19 times, was signed into law on Monday by the presidents of the three EU institutions, the European Pa…

    Read More

  5. Greece to Accept Negative Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Tests for Entry

    Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis recently said that Greece will soon permit entry for travelers who present negative rapid antigen tests on arrival, as proof that they are not infected with the…

    Read More

  6. Northern Greece Plays a Big Part in Country’s Tourism Restart, Says Minister

    Northern Greece has a leading role in this year’s opening of the country’s tourism, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said following his official visit to Thessaloniki on Friday. While in the Gre…

    Read More

  7. Thessaloniki Ready to Welcome Hollywood Stars for Film Shoot

    A big Hollywood production is getting ready to begin filming in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, the governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said on Friday. According to Tzitzikostas, thi…

    Read More

  8. Ferry Travel: Greek Seamen to Strike on Wednesday, June 16

    Ferry transport in Greece is expected again to face disruption after thirteen Greek seamen’s unions announced a 24-hour strike in all ship categories for Wednesday, June 16. The unions – part of the u…

    Read More

  9. Greeks outraged at concreting of ancient site

    Installation of new pathway and lift has been criticised by archaeologists and called ‘a scandal’

    Read More

  10. United States Eases Travel Advisories for Greece

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US State Department eased travel advisories for dozens of countries including Greece this week. The US State Department revised on Tuesd…

    Read More